There are many things to lament in regards to Corbyn’s stewardship of Labour. The destruction of the possibility that any party other than the Conservatives will be able to win a general election for the next generation, for instance, and all of the problems that brings (for the Conservatives as much as anyone else). But this is what I feel is the saddest: all those thousands of young people who got interested in politics who will are being turned off it now, and the thousands to come when it sets in that Corbyn is set to lose big time.
6,450 people have stopped being Labour members just this week. There is certain to be another large exodus after the party loses hundreds of local seats in Scotland in May, not to mention the seats that will be lost in England. Most of these people will be young, optimistic – and will now be lost from politics, possibly forever.
Imagine for a moment if something like Momentum, with its numbers and energy, had been turned towards something positive, as opposed to being a standing army for a small coterie of old Stalinists trying and gain permanent control of the Labour Party. The power it could have had for change would have been impressive. And the last eighteen months is when we could have really needed something like that, as it cruelly happens.
Once the Momentum activists hopes are dashed on the rocks – and its only a matter of time – it’s hard to see how to regain that same energy elsewhere. It will probably be lost from politics for good. Which makes one wonder how anything will ever change, or whether everything in Britain is just going to continue tilting to the right. You can say I’m being overly pessimistic here, but I cannot see what countervailing force stops that from happening. Progressives only hope now is the left of the Conservative Party – how did we end up here?